February Freeze

Being typically British my blog would not be complete without a good old discussion about the weather. It feels like a lot of the winter has been mild but windy and wet, however I did buy an exquisite umbrella, that almost, and I stress almost made me look forward to a wet day. It is by Lulu Guinness and has a birdcage design on it.


One morning this week as I stepped out early to walk to the station, my breath visible in the air, morning was starting to light the street, which makes a pleasant change from going to work and coming home in the dark. The fingers of Jack Frost had lightly caressed everything, from the early daffodils to the wine bottles left out for recycling. That time of the morning is incredibly peaceful with just the sweet melodious chorus of the birds and the milkman going about his round. The winter sun eventually breaks through and burns away the frost after bathing everything in a beautiful golden glow when the frost twinkles like diamonds.

So February has brought winter with it which pleases me immensely as I can wear the rather expensive pompom hat, which I purchased from a stall in London’s Hayes Galleria the last time it got a bit cold; only for it to warm up again a few days later!

Bobble hat

Pompoms have been big this season, with a real peak at Christmas, although the trend has continued into 2016. Many fashion writers have said they represent the ‘fun’ element that has been missing from fashion. There are some lovely pompom shoes available, especially this pair by Aquazzura which are sadly way beyond my budget.

Aquazzura shoesI couldn’t resist the hat as well as getting a bag charm. Fendi was the first to showcase the pompom bag charm with its ‘bag bug’ which was a pompom with eyes; and other designers and retailers have been quick to follow suit. A pompom bag charm can instantly update any bag for the season, which saves our pockets when we are still paying for the expenses of Christmas.

This pompom I bought from Asos is designed to look like a rabbit rather than being made of rabbit fur as some pompoms and other clothes are.

Rabbit pompom

Fashion and Fur has had a long and turbulent history.  Back in the Stone Age furs were worn for warmth. In the middle ages, fur was generally used to line garments but the Victorians brought about the change of wearing it on the outside, with the fur coat as we know it. Fur has long been seen as a status symbol with the more exclusive furs being reserved for the upper classes. Fashion designers widely embraced fur in their collections and it wasn’t until the 1980’s that real opposition to it began. Activists would throw red paint at people in fur as seen in the Sex and the City movie when an activist throws paint at Samantha whilst shouting ‘fur is murder’.  PETA have done various prominent advertising campaigns against the use of fur in fashion including the 1991 campaign ‘rather go naked than wear fur’ which numerous celebrities took part in, including Kate Moss.

About a billion rabbits are slaughtered every year for their fur. This is an issue particularly close to my heart, mainly due to the fact I have kept rabbits as pets for most of my life.


My wonderful rabbit Rufus

I would never eat rabbit and have even boycotted a restaurant because it is on their menu. I realise however that this is a small stand to make considering I still wear leather shoes and eat meat and other animal products, something Karl Lagerfeld was quick to come back with to the critics of Fendi’s use of fur.

I think the key is that animals should be treated humanely whether they are being used for food or fur and many so called fur farms just don’t do this and of course that is wrong. It seems abhorrent that an animal should suffer in the name of fashion; especially as faux fur has come on so much.  Some would argue against the use of the faux fur though as it is made from an oil base which is not a sustainable resource.

Britain and the USA have quite stringent rules on the treatment of the animals used to produce their fur but other countries are unfortunately not so scrupulous and many of their exports are not clearly labelled so you may well be buying their products unwittingly.

It is a shame that in recent years fur has become more popular in fashion again and even some of the models who opposed it in that 1991 PETA campaign have since been seen wearing it.

Everyone is of course entitled to their own views and as I say unless you are a vegan being against fur does have some sense of hypocrisy to it but in my mind, cruelty to animals is never ok and I am quite happy to wear faux fur.  I think that it should be law that things are explicitly labelled so that the consumer can make an informed choice about what they buy, whether it be food, clothes or cosmetics.

Political rant over, I shall get back to the weather and what I have been doing, whilst staying in the warm and the dry has appeared to be the better option.

I completed my first shabby chic project, following a course I did last year which you can read about here.  My husband inherited a rather ornate but very old fashioned cabinet in a dark wood from his Grandfather.  I must admit that it wasn’t something I was that keen on in its original state but was the perfect canvas for shabby chic.  I used Autentico Vanille paint for the base and then used Autentico Pitch Green to paint the panels on the doors and bring out the detail on the drawers.  I finished it off with Autentico clear wax and put new drawer pulls on.  I was quite pleased with the finished result in the end but I did learn a few lessons for the next project.

Shoe Cabinet

This weekend I braved the weather and headed up to London for the Vogue 100 – A Century of Style exhibition which you can read all about in my next blog.  In the meantime try and keep warm and dry and roll on summer!



The 4 C’s – Cauldrons, Charity, Christmas and Clutches

Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas; there are many festivals to be celebrated now that the colder months are upon us.

The Halloween spirit (pardon the pun) was started by a guy at work bringing in themed cupcakes to raise money for charity.  I threw a Halloween party which was great fun and dressed as a skeleton whilst my partner was a vampire.  We decorated the house with pumpkins, spider webs and various other bits and bobs to create a kind of haunted mansion.  The kids loved the cauldron full of sweets which also contained the odd rubber eye ball (not to be confused with a gob stopper!)  I really liked the plates I chose especially when they appeared in the ‘Fabulous Magazine Lustlist’ after I had purchased them!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARufus even got in the Halloween Mood!

People often assume that Halloween is more of an American festival but in fact it was the UK that introduced the custom to the United States during the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century.  The actual origins of Halloween are disputed.  Some suggest it has its roots in Paganism with influences of Western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead whilst others argue it has Christian roots.  Those following the first line of thought, link Halloween to the Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the start of winter and the end of the harvest season.  It was a time to prepare for the winter and there were various rituals and bonfires.  People believed that it was a time when souls of the dead and other mythical beings could come into our world.  Some of these beings were thought to be harmful and it may be that people dressed up and carved turnip lanterns to ward them off hence today’s customs of dressing up and jack-o-lanterns.  The American’s changed turnips to pumpkins as it was a native vegetable and easier to carve (not sure I agree with that last point though – put it this way the power tools were on standby!!).  At Samhain youths would also go door to door collecting food and if a household gave food, they could expect good fortune for the winter which may be where the trick or treating tradition may come from.  Those who believe Halloween has Christian origins link it to the holy day on 1st November, All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows.  They saw it as a time to pray for those recently deceased who had not reached heaven as well as honouring the saints.  Those of this belief sight the origins of trick or treating as the practice of ‘souling’ where poor children would collect soul cakes door to door as a symbol of praying for those in purgatory.  It was  believed that the dead could seek vengeance on their enemies until all saints day when they moved into the next world and that was the reason that people dressed up and made jack-o-lanterns, to protect themselves from these souls.

Due to Catholic connotations, during Reformation Protestants were against celebrating Halloween and after the 1605 gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, popularity for Halloween declined in Britain, with far more emphasis being placed on Guy Fawkes Night.  Being that I held the party between Halloween and Guy Fawkes, we also had sparklers.

This month I signed up to the Moonwalk London to raise money for breast cancer research which takes place next May.  The walk was started by a lady called Nina Barough who along with 12 other women took part in the New York marathon in a decorated bra to raise money for breast cancer back in 1996.  After that first walk, Nina herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In 1997 a team of girls entered the London Marathon for the cause.  In 1998, such was the response for a team to walk in the London Marathon for a second time that a separate walk was created for the eve of the marathon.  From then onwards, the moonwalk has been an event in its own right with popularity growing year after year.  Having never done anything remotely physically challenging, I went for the half moon walk which is 13.1 miles; I better get myself in training not to mention purchase some trainers – I think I would struggle to do it in heels!  I can’t wait to start designing my bra.  Please sponsor me for this excellent cause; details of my fundraising page to follow in a future blog.

Last week when I was at the hairdressers I read a very interesting article regarding a new diet called 5:2.  Basically you can eat normally for 5 days of the week and for 2 days you fast, eating just 600 calories.  (Some internet sites suggest for women this is reduced to 500).  This diet was popularised by Dr Michael J. Mosley when he was on ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’ documentary in August 2012.  There has been research suggesting that not only does the diet work; it can also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and Cancer.  Conversely though there is some research suggesting it could cause eating disorders.  I’m always on the look out for a quick and easy fix to losing weight so I have decided to give it a go.  I will let you know the progress weight wise but I have done it for a week now and I must admit the fasting days are difficult and it really opens your eyes to the amount of calories in everything which does make you think twice about what you eat even on the normal days.

A couple of weeks back was Remembrance Sunday and I wore my poppy with pride as well as observing the 2 minutes silence.  I am sure poppy sales greatly increased on 1st November – London Poppy Day when my day was brightened by some very handsome young soldiers coming into the office selling them!  The total raised on this day for the appeal was £772,211.  Armistice Day is on 11th Nov and commemorates the end of World War One and the signing of the armistice at 11am which ended the war for the Western front.  In 1939, the two minutes silence was held on Remembrance Sunday on the first Sunday after Armistice Day in case Armistice Day fell on a week day and interrupted war productions.  After World War Two, most events moved to Remembrance Sunday.  Both days are now celebrated in the UK.  The poppy became the symbol of Armistice Day in 1921 and was inspired by a poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ which refers to poppies being the first thing to grow in the earth of the soldiers graves.  The British Legions poppy appeal raises money for those who are serving in wars or have served and their dependants.  As a child my Grandma would always take me down to Orpington War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday where there would be parades by the armed forces and Brownies, Guides etc.  I remember always wishing my Brownie pack was in Orpington so that I too could have taken part.

As we all begin the preparations for Christmas, lets remember those children who are living in poverty and give something back.  November is the Operation Christmas Child shoe box appeal time. Imagine the joy on a child’s face on Christmas day when they receive a gift of your lovingly put together shoe box.  This year I did mine for a girl between the ages of 5 and 9.  Check out my blog last year for the history of the shoebox appeal and visit their website for more information.

Before the Christmas parties begin in earnest, I have a few 30th birthday parties to attend over the coming weeks and I just couldn’t resist this unusual 70’s vintage style magazine clutch by Paparazzi.  I will wear it with a plain black dress so that it stands out and takes all the glory!  Carrie is seen with a magazine clutch in Sex and the City ‘Where there is smoke’ and I have wanted one ever since.  Another great style blog which mentions this clutch is

Only 28 days until Christmas so it’s time to start that shopping!  Nero’s have released their special Christmas coffees; an amaretto latte and a praline latte so when your feet are sore from dragging round looking for a present for that awkward person to buy for, pop in to take the weight off and indulge.  Until next time….

How High is too High?

When I was thinking about high heels and how they make you feel; my mind wandered to other uses of the word high; lately many things seem to be prefixed with it.  High fashion, high end, high rise, high price, high speed, high definition, high achiever, high life, high class to name a few.  The word high can mean of a great height in its literal sense but usually used metaphorically it means superior or above somebody or something.  Generally it suggests a positive attribute but I want to ask when is high too high; thus making it a negative connotation?

I believe high definition television is a phenomenon which men have convinced themselves improves their viewing experience.  All the women I have spoken to can not see any difference and as long as I can watch my programmes, I can’t see any advantage.  I guess when they have splashed out on all this technology (a male equivalent to shoes) they have to convince themselves it was worth it!!

The high life is certainly something you can have too much of!  Most of my late teens were spent living the high life which resulted in an awful lot of debt for one thing!  When I was in my last job, I thought it would be wonderful if I didn’t have to go to work again but once I found myself redundant; after a while I realized that you can have too much of a good thing and was actually pleased when I started my latest job.

High expectations can also be a way to set you up for disappointment especially when it comes to men and romance.  You do however sometimes find yourself pleasantly surprised such as the lovely flowers my other half got me for getting onto my teacher training course.


Now getting back to the subject of the blog; it is generally thought that a heel of 1-2 inches is low, 2-4 inches medium and more than 4 inches high.  High heel footwear lifts the heel of the wearer’s foot appreciably higher than the toes.  As far back as the ancient Egyptian times, heels were worn by men and women, although often for practical reasons such as for butchers to walk above the blood, rather than the glamorous reasons of today.  Pattens which were a high sole attached to shoes were often worn to keep shoes out of mud and debris.  Heels were also necessary for horse riding to keep the foot in the stirrup.  Actors would wear them to depict the differing status of characters which they played.  Let me refer you to my blog on harem trousers; there is some suggestion women were made to wear heels to prevent them from escaping a harem.  Far from the high heels being used to raise the status of a woman, they were in fact repressing them by stopping them escaping from men.

The upper classes often wore heels for ceremonial purposes.  Their popularity began in France but soon spread to other countries nobility.  During the French revolution the wearing of heels declined as they were seen as a sign of wealth but they were resurrected in the late nineteenth century almost solely for women’s wear.

The stiletto heel (one of my favourites) is named after the stiletto dagger and became popular in the late 1950s.  The Beetles era saw these disappear from mainstream shops but my namesake Manolo Blahnik reintroduced them in 1974 with a heel called the Needle and shops like Biba also stocked similar styles.  The stiletto’s real comeback though was post year 2000.  Manolo Blahnik has said he tries to make women feel like princesses.  Certainly if I am ever fortunate enough to get married, the shoes will be more important than the dress to make me feel like a princess.  It’s a good job that my other half doesn’t feel intimidated by me looking taller than him as heels have always been my statement!

We often hear of the negatives of wearing heels, such as foot and tendon problems but there has also been a study which suggests that they may help tone pelvic floor muscles thus having a positive effect on women’s incontinence.  A note to my many friends now entering the motherhood period of their lives; if you don’t have time for your pelvic floor exercises, just walk around doing the house work in high heels!  Talking of which, I met my friends new baby girl the other week.  There are so many gorgeous outfits for new babies but I eventually chose a cute pink baby grow with embroidered butterflies.


Women however are resilient and will go through no end of pain for the sake of fashion.  According to an American survey 42% of women said they would wear a shoe they liked even if it gave them discomfort. (Bouchez, C. “Tips to avoid Foot Pain From High Heels”)  I must admit I am one of these women.  People often marvel at the height of the heels I wear; only the other day two women at work commented that they liked my shoes but didn’t know how I could wear them all day long!  As a woman was quoted by the New York Times as saying to another lady, trying shoes on in Bergdorf Goodman, “if you love them, you’ll learn to walk in them.”  The Belfast Telegraph reports that the average woman owns 17 pairs of shoes – that makes me well above average, especially including my latest purchase of red ballet pumps!  It also said the average woman spends almost two thirds of her time in heels.

France has long been seen as the fashion leaders of the world and high fashion or haute couture as it is known in French refers to the design of exclusive custom fitted clothing.  It is an Englishman, Charles Frederick Worth nonetheless who is seen as the father of haute couture.  He made the dressmaker more of an artist and prepared portfolios of designs to be shown on models at the House of Worth.  The French protect the term haute couture and firms must meet certain standards to use it, although since the late 80’s it has been misused to describe more ready to wear lines.  Chanel and Christian Dior are probably two of the most well known fashion houses that can officially be called haute couture.  Now Chanel is another of my favourite brands.  The fashion house was founded by Gabrielle Chanel in 1909.  She was nicknamed “Coco” when she was singing in a French café.  I aspire to her vision of casual elegance.  Chanel is classic and is most famous for the little black dress, along with the quilted bags; launched Feb 1955, the bags have printed in them 2/55, and of course one of the only thing my budget stretches to, their perfume.  I got my first bottle of Chanel perfume at 16, Chanel Allure which was launched in 1996.  I moved on to Chance, launched 2002 but have eventually picked my favourite as the classic first perfume, Chanel No. 5 launched in 1921.  To me it is the epitome of simple elegance.  I couldn’t resist a red Chanelesque bag, a bargain in the fashion union sale!


So fashion and good shoes come at a high price but perhaps the way they make us feel can help us to be high achievers.  I read an article once that said one should dress for the job they want, rather than the one they have.  Good clothes and shoes certainly give me an air of confidence.  Now whilst we are on the subject of high achievement; this can come with a high cost too.  Generally these people are perfectionists and this can lead to anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder.  Their work focus can sometimes cause them to neglect their personal relationships making them lonely people, vulnerable to depression.  So there is another example of when high becomes too high.

Depressing January gave way to February and we all woke on the 5th to a blanket of snow 3 ½ inches deep.  It was Rufus’s first experience and he loved it whilst my other half and I went back to childhood and built a snowman.  Interesting useless fact here, although origins of snowmen are unclear, the first illustration of a snowman seen in a book dates back to 1380!



I shall end this blog with high hopes of the year to come; Valentine’s is tomorrow and remember girls it’s a leap year this year which means the woman can propose to the man traditionally.  When this tradition originated is unclear although there is some suggestion that it was initiated by Saint Patrick in Ireland in the 5th century.  I shall leave you with the excitement of the spring fashions; pastel denim seems to be popular (I have already bought some mint coloured skinny jeans) but more details in my next blog after I visit London fashion week at the end of the month.  I also treated myself to a sheer leopard print top which I thought was a subtle way of wearing the trend, not that my other half agreed, lol!

Remember, I like to think of HEEL as standing for Highly Elegant Efficient Lady – no heel is ever too high!

3 More Sleeps to go!!!!!!!!!

So it’s almost the big day.  The Christmas cake and pudding has been made for some weeks which threw my senses into the Christmas spirit even if no other part of my body followed.  The kitchen was filled with nutmeg, cinnamon and fruit smells whilst I sipped a snowball, the first of many! Lol!  It seems as though the whole country was late in feeling Christmassy this year and then December arrived and suddenly Christmas songs blared out in shops and on the radio along with Heart beginning their sleeps ‘til Santa countdown.  This was a refreshing change to the usual pattern of it beginning in August.  Even Rufus my rabbit is now in the Christmas spirit!


My cousin and I revisited our childhood Christmas’ by losing ourselves for a few hours in Hamleys.  We also enjoyed a visit to the Hyde Park winter wonderland and browsed the German Christmas market before warming ourselves up with a coffee and some roasted chestnuts; another smell which alerts us to the holiday season.  I took my friends little boy to see Santa the other week and as a new twist, it also included a 3D film about the reindeer.  I’m not sure who enjoyed the trip more, me or him?  What did I ask Santa for; well that would be telling!  Cards then began to drop through the letter box on a daily basis.  Christmas is one of the few times of year when the postman delivers something other than bills and junk mail!  Wouldn’t it be nice if we all still wrote letters to each other; I used to love to receive a letter to read over breakfast.  The advent of modern technology has unfortunately diminished the nation’s letter writing skills.  Text messages encourage brevity and the notion of even a good long phone call seems to be less and less popular.  Now don’t get me wrong text messages do serve their purpose and I’m not about to join the English language experts debate on text messaging being responsible for the declining standards of spelling, however in my own experience I have found that they often can cause misunderstandings and fail to convey true emotion.  With this in mind, I had four very enjoyable phone conversations with friends and family today. You would think with all these wide ranging methods of communication people would never lose touch but sadly there are people who you have no contact with from one month to the next, yet the sign of true friendship is that when you do meet up with that person it is like you have never been apart, as I found with an old school friend at my annual festive get together this week.  Anyway getting back to Christmas cards, where did this tradition come from?  I watched Victorian Christmas the other day and found the origins to this and many other traditions; we have a lot to thank the Victorians for.  Henry Cole sent the first Christmas card in 1843 as it would have taken a long time for him to have written letters to all his friends.  Those he had left over he sold.  The popularity of these was helped by the post office introducing a half penny stamp for Christmas cards.  This was made possible by the expanding railways which made transporting post faster and cheaper.


Another tradition we owe to the Victorians is the Christmas tree.  They became part of the British Christmas after Queen Victoria’s husband put one up at Windsor castle in 1841.  They were of course at that time decorated with candles; an accident waiting to happen if you ask me.  My partner and I put up our tree and dusted off the nativity scene the first week of December in preparation for an early Christmas dinner party I arranged.  Aside from the desire to catch up with some very good friends of mine, my partner and I also attempted to play matchmakers for two of our friends.  Sadly it was apparently too early for me to acquire a sprig of mistletoe!  It was a most enjoyable evening and I enjoyed making the years first mince pies.  Now these pies go back to the 13th century when European crusaders returned home with recipes from the Middle East.  By the Victorian era, meat was no longer used in these sweet treats but suet remained an ingredient as it still does today.


The Victorian era has long been a fascination for me and with so many Christmas traditions being a result of that period too; when my partner was off work we decided to go and visit the Victoria and Albert museum in London.  I got a bit of a shock having to pay for a train ticket for the first time in eight years!  The museum was rather a let down; we had misunderstood it to be a museum of the Victorian era when in fact it is a museum of art and design, simply named after Victoria and Albert.  Then to add insult to injury, the fashion room is currently closed much to my disappointment.

At the time of writing, I have now been officially unemployed for almost a month and the time has flown; I almost wonder how I ever had time to work and I still haven’t completed half the things I intended to.  It is now starting to hit me however that this is not a holiday and the job search now needs to begin in earnest; the financial situation has not been helped by my continuing shopping addition!  After all the perfect Christmas dress is essential for any girl; or in my case two but they were a bargain in the sale.  The quest for the ideal dress is never easy but just think of poor Kate Middleton who needs no less than five dresses for her first Royal Christmas day.  I did resist the urge for a gorgeous pair of heels I saw in Topshop; thinking about it though that may have been a mistake given that according to a Metro survey, 13% blokes would like their girlfriend to wear nice shoes.  Talking of shopping, the present’s bill hasn’t helped either but I so enjoy giving people a thoughtful gift.  This year I did the majority online which was far easier than battling the shops, except for the fact that one parcel has still yet to turn up.  Some think tanks estimate as much as a 16% rise in online shopping this Christmas.  Perhaps this online explosion of choice and price cutting has led to the demise of Barratts and La Senza; both now in administration which one close friend of mine has felt acutely.

I have done some productive things with my time since leaving work though.  I spent a week volunteering at another local primary school; this time with the children in the last year there.  I greatly enjoyed it; some of the children even got me Christmas presents.  Whilst doing this experience I also had some good news, I have an interview for my teacher training course so fingers crossed I’m on my way to becoming a teacher.

Now with little time left to wait for the special day which cheers up the long winter, I must get on with the rest of my wrapping and make some paper chains.  Merry Christmas readers!

‘It’s Pimms O’Clock!’

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I shall begin by apologising for the delay in posting but one of the things I wanted to write about needed to be common knowledge first.  My blogs this week will be rather like buses; you wait ages and then two come at once!!

So I take you back to the start of September.  I don’t know about you but since my school days, I always feel that 1st September marks the official end of summer.  The evenings start to become darker and the cardigans begin to come out!  X factor has begun and the countdown to Christmas starts.

In order to make the most of the last of the good weather, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Broadstairs, Kent for the day, which was where we went for our very first date.  I love Broadstairs and it is often referred to as the ‘Jewel in Thanet’s Crown’.  Charles Dickens regularly visited there between 1837 and 1859 and wrote David Copperfield whilst staying there; it does inspire my writing imagination too.  Today Broadstairs still retains the vibe of the traditional British seaside resort minus the donkey rides.

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We began with a game of crazy golf, followed by fish and chips on the beach; it always tastes better by the sea even if you do get a sand garnish!  The first Fish and chip shop that opened in London was in 1860.   Railways played a big part in fish and chips becoming a staple of the working class diet as it linked cities to the coast and they also can be credited with the increased popularity of a holiday at the seaside.  We followed up with an ice cream, then on to the arcade with the great 2p machines.  I even dipped my toes in the sea but wasn’t brave enough for a swim!  Many were braving a swim though; perhaps apart from protecting their modesty, the Victorian swimwear which covered most of the body was made as a result of Britain’s inclement weather?  It was funny when my partner and I went to Egypt and our guide in Cairo was saying it gets quite cold in the winter, around 20 degrees and we said, in Britain if the mercury reaches 20 then we all have our shorts and flip flops on!

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We finished off with a Pimms in one of the local pubs.  Pimms was actually invented by the son of a man from Kent in 1823.  It is now a drink very much synonymous with the British summer, hence its popularity at events such as Wimbledon.

That evening we went to friends for dinner which was a most enjoyable end to the day.  I remember being sent to bed whilst my parents entertained friends at dinner parties and now I’m attending dinner parties; how time flies!  The food was restaurant standard which sets the bar high for when we invite them back.

During the week I treated myself to some star print palazzo trousers after realising that my other pair of plain black ones had been badly torn by my high heels.  At least now I can be on trend with the star print.  I spent many evenings browsing the internet for a perfect pair of shoes to wear as Godmother at my baby nieces christening at the end of the month.  My boyfriend looked over at my surfing and said ‘you really do love shoes, don’t you!’  Had it really taken him this long to notice???  Men, eh!  I couldn’t find what I was looking for but did find a gorgeous pair of shoes for my baby niece; after all, got to start them young!

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Image Courtesy of Google Images

That got me thinking about my first pair of shoes; little did my parents realise that they would be the start of a life long love affair.  I think I inherited the obsession from my maternal Grandma; when she died my Mum found enough shoes in her wardrobe to open a shop!  I’m only sad that she died when I was 7.  I think we would have been great friends.  My main memory of her is sitting for hours and drawing together and how she always gave us a small bottle of lemonade, some fun size sweets which were a new concept then and £1 pocket money.  My Mum says she always said if you couldn’t decide which dress to buy, she would say get both!  For my first birthday Mum says she bought me a dress from Bentalls which was £25 then.  She was always generous to a fault.  No wonder I live to shop, it’s in the genes.



I remember when Mum and I went to Bromley to get my first pair of welly boots and ended up on the wrong train on the way back!  I was so proud of those wellies!

Later once I started school I remember we all had the Clarks Magic Steps shoes, mine were patent burgundy.  You were no one unless you had them.  These had a key in the sole.  My friend actually tried to smash the key out.  They made you feel like the princess in the adverts.  Even now some of my most glam shoes make me feel like a princess.  The power a piece of footwear has!

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Image Courtesy of Google Images

This reminiscing called to mind some other fashion and footwear trends over the years.  There were jelly shoes, heeled jelly shoes, crocs and Ugg boots to name a few.  Does anyone else remember the Bon Bleu tracksuit?  I always wanted one but alas we can’t always have what we want.  It’s quite ironic really that on own clothes day at school, most kids wore the alternative uniform of the Bon Bleu tracksuit!

On a more serious note and the cause of the delay on this blog; a bombshell was dropped on me at work.  They are closing our department and I will be redundant at the end of November, unless a suitable alternative within the company can be found.  Guess this means I will have to seriously curtail the shopping habit!  The shoe collection will certainly suffer.  We had expected the day would come but I don’t think any of us thought it would be quite this soon.  They sent us home early and I literally felt sick with shock.  I’ve had chance to get used to the idea now though.  I’m doing my best to look at this positively, as an opportunity.  Perhaps this is the push I needed; after all, what I really want is to be a teacher and a writer.

I should also mention that the complaints to the shop where we got Rufus finally paid off and we got the Vets bills refunded as well as £30 of vouchers which I intend to treat Rufus with.  It does pay to complain!

I shall leave it there and consol myself with a drink; perhaps ‘it’s Pimms O’clock?!’

A Sight For Sore Eyes

Have you ever wondered if anyone uses the St John’s Ambulance at big events?  Well I did at Wimbledon this week.  My eyes were hurting so much and my sight distorted so I was struggling to see the ball; a bit of a disadvantage when watching tennis!  A lovely guy went through my symptoms, even with my blurred vision; I could tell he was fit.  A lady then administered a saline wash.  She asked if my mascara was waterproof and when I said no, she said well its not running, so I informed her it was Chanel and she said the girl knows what she is doing!  Later that evening, I ended up at casualty as my eyes were even more painful.  Someone at this hospital had a warped sense of humour; they had Holby City on in the waiting room, just what you want to be watching.  I’m telling you though A&E can be quite entertaining and certainly a good place for people watching.  When I was up there with my boyfriend at Christmas, there was a bloke who could only hop as he had injured his foot but still managed to hop outside about 5 times in 2 hours for cigarettes!  There was the drunken girl who started off saying she hadn’t drunk anything and then each time a different person asked her, the amount of drinks increased.  Then there was the guy dressed as a woman – even the lady on the tea bar couldn’t keep a straight face at that one!  This time there was a drunk, abusive guy who was eventually arrested along with a guy who had hit his finger with a hammer and his family were frightening him with horror stories of what might happen and another guy clutching a rather private area!

Saturday brought a rather better reason to visit a hospital; my gorgeous new baby niece was born.  My brother and his girlfriend are such proud parents.  As I gave her a cuddle I marvelled at the small but perfectly formed finger nails.  I wondered what she was dreaming about.  The innocence of a new baby is so lovely, they don’t have a care in the world and everything is new and exciting.  Children embrace change whilst adults resist it.  As I tickled her tiny feet, I thought how much fun I would have buying her shoes.  Talking of which, getting back to my toddler niece who already has a passion for shoes; my boyfriends sister tried to give me a pair of shoes for the new baby that her daughter had grown out of but she was having none of it; whether they fitted or not, there was no way she was going to be parted from her shoes.  To be fair I can understand it, I wouldn’t want to part with any of my shoes; even the ones that cripple me!

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Sunday’s heat meant a trip to a different kind of medical place; the vets.  Poor old Rufus was not coping well at all with our newly found summer.  Turns out he has a problem with his teeth too so he has got to go in for an operation on Wednesday.  Fingers crossed he will survive the anaesthetic as the vet hardly put your mind at ease when he said it was very risky for rabbits to be anaesthetised.

This Thursday I will be revisiting the eye hospital and hopefully that will then draw a close to the frequent visits to hospitals and vets.  After this week, I think I have seen enough for a very long time!